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Simple tips for building a B2B Twitter following

June 21, 2011

I’ve managed a company event Twitter account for a little over two years, covering three dates for that event (2009, 2010, and 2011). 2009 was the first year we had a cohesive plan to utilize social networking accounts for the event, so 2009 was our start year. For the 2010 year, we built a larger Facebook following and topped 1000 followers on Twitter. In the 2011 event season, I and my extended team made some changes to our processes and approach to see what would happen. I’ll admit I’ve watched with a bit of surprise as our social footprint exploded. Here are a few of the things we did differently:

  • Put the face behind the brand: The first change I made was shifting the point of view of the content. It was then I noticed the first uptick in engagement on our Twitter account (which spurred me to experiment with the other changes that follow). I added my name to the bio, shifted from “we” to “I” when it made sense, and tried to keep my individual voice as much as possible.
  • Don’t follow everyone who follows you: I chose to be choosy on follow-backs. My audience was IT professionals, hardware and software managers, and tech industry followers. Real estate agents, performers, students, and especially spammers aren’t part of my audience, so I have no desire to project them onto my followers in any way. I drew more lines in the sand about who I followed. I did not follow back if the user protected their tweets, had not updated their avatar, or didn’t have an obvious connection to the industry (as shown in their bio or timeline). Invaluable tool for the job: Friend or Follow to easily find who you might need to follow
  • Be judicious in volume: In most cases, I tried to keep the account posts down to a manageable frequency. Of course that spiked during the event, but even though that during-event spike seems obvious and expected, that’s when the account lost the most followers. So for my audience, at least, 2-3 times daily seems to be the sweet spot. Invaluable tool for the job: Qwitter to monitor the rate of followers who leave you
  • Recognize your followers: Reply to everything that’s not just a rhetorical question (and even some of those) or that you can reasonably address. As you can imagine, even though I was working on an enterprise event, I got a lot of tweets about laptops and printers. Not my purview but I still tried to make sure they were pointed in the right direction. Thank retweets and mentions with a shout-out or Follow Friday. I also made sure that if I was out of the office, I had a backup in place who could do this for me. Invaluable tool for the job: Saved search in your tool of choice (search mentions and hashtags) and paper.li
Any tips from your experience?
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